United States and Kenya announce the launch of US-Kenya strategic trade and investment partnership

United States and Kenya announce the launch of US-Kenya strategic trade and investment partnership
Published date:
Thursday, 14 July 2022

During a virtual meeting today, United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, and Kenya's Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Betty Maina, launched the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP).  

Building on their June 13, 2022 meeting in Geneva, Ambassador Tai and Cabinet Secretary Maina agreed that their governments will pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas with a view to increasing investment; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses (including micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises); and supporting African regional economic integration.  

They identified the following initial issues where the United States and Kenya will develop an ambitious roadmap for enhanced cooperation with the goal of negotiating high-standard commitments in order to achieve economically meaningful outcomes: 

  • Agriculture.  The United States and Kenya will consider measures to facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures.  The two sides share an interest in fostering sustainable agricultural practices, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovative agricultural technologies that would help achieve food security goals, increase farm productivity, and improve farmer livelihoods, while addressing climate change concerns.
     
  • Anti-Corruption.  The United States and Kenya share a commitment to prevent and combat bribery and other forms of corruption.  The two sides will engage in information sharing of best practices to prevent and combat bribery and corruption and will explore negotiating specific commitments.
     
  • Digital Trade.   The United States and Kenya share an interest in fostering consumer, business, and worker trust in the digital economy, ensuring access to information, promoting the development and use of resilient and secure digital infrastructure, promoting competition and the participation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and addressing discriminatory practices.  The two countries will discuss measures to support digital inclusion, including accessibility, and online consumer protection.  The two countries will also monitor global discussions on emerging issues in digital trade which are of mutual interest.
     
  • Environment and Climate Change Action.  The United States and Kenya share common values with respect to environmental protection, a commitment to conservation, pursuing measures to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the importance of the sustainable use and management of each country’s natural resources as they strengthen their trade and investment relations.  The two sides will engage on strengthening these efforts, including with respect to climate adaptation and mitigation practices.  The two sides will also consider opportunities to strengthen their respective commitments in this area, including through cooperation.
     
  • Good Regulatory Practices. The United States and Kenya will explore negotiating high-level commitments on topics such as: ensuring adequate time for public consultations on proposed regulations; posting of proposed regulations for review by interested stakeholders; basing regulatory decisions on best available information, science, and evidence, including undertaking risk analysis and regulatory impact assessment as appropriate.  The two sides will also explore negotiating provisions on services domestic regulation.
     
  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The United States and Kenya believe that the success of MSMEs are key elements to promote sustained economic growth, including for women-owned enterprises. The two countries will discuss approaches to integrate MSMEs into international trade.  The two sides will initiate periodic technical best practices exchanges and roundtables on micro, small and medium enterprises. 
     
  • Promoting Workers’ Rights and Protections.  The United States and Kenya share a desire to work together to advance and protect labor rights through: enforcement of and compliance with labor laws, promotion of social dialogue, and cooperation in other areas of mutual interest on labor and employment priorities, including with respect to forced labor in global supply chains.
     
  • Supporting Participation of Women, Youth, and Others in Trade.  The United States and Kenya are committed to promoting economic opportunities for women and youth and continue to examine how to develop and adopt trade policies that promote and facilitate the participation of women and youth in international trade and to promote good paying, high-quality jobs and sustainable livelihoods.  The two sides will work to identify resources to support the economic empowerment and participation of women, youth, persons with disabilities, other vulnerable populations, and the African Diaspora in trade to promote equitable and inclusive development. 
     
  • Standards Collaboration.  The United States and Kenya will discuss the role of standards, conformity assessment procedures and technical regulations that have a significant impact on trade, including opportunities to reduce impediments to trade due to differences in their respective systems. The two sides intend to engage on and discuss in depth their respective processes for the preparation, adoption, and application of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures based on mutually agreed best practices. 
     
  • Trade Facilitation and Customs Procedures.  The United States and Kenya recognize the pandemic’s impact on supply chains and the demonstrated benefits of streamlining border procedures and accelerating WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation for trade in goods during this challenging time.  The two sides will discuss opportunities to simplify procedures, especially those that allow new entrants to engage in trade.  In this regard, the two sides will consider various customs practices, transparency and cooperation on customs enforcement  to inform mutual understanding, including the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Republic of Kenya Regarding Mutual Assistance between their Customs Administrations, signed at Washington on August 6, 2014, as well as explore other topics of engagement, including trusted trader benefits for demonstrated low-risk importers, particularly those that participate in their respective country’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program.  

The U.S. and Kenyan governments will commence working within three months to develop a detailed roadmap for engagement in each of these areas. 
  

###

View related news articles

If duties were eliminated, 'strong potential for US red meat in Kenya'

The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently submitted comments (  see document alongside) to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF senior director of export services, says that USMEF highlighted several non-tariff barriers and potential trade obstacles, including concerns about Kenya's burdensome import license system,...

30 September 2022

Kenya businesses 'want continued duty-free access'

The Biden administration has been clear that none of its trade negotiations cover tariffs. That includes talks with the U.K., the EU and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as the Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership talks with Kenya. In Kenya’s case, the country already has duty-free access to the United States for most of its goods under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. But the Biden administration has not said yet...

26 September 2022

Concerns expressed that Kenya deal with US could hurt regional trade

The pursuit of a new trade pact between Washington and Kenya is eliciting old fears on whether it could hurt adherence to obligations under the East African Community, and hence continental ambitions for more commerce. The US has confirmed it is willing to restart negotiations on a future trade pact with Nairobi once a substantive government is formed by President William Ruto. And although Washington says any trade agreements in Africa will...

24 September 2022

US concerns with doing business with Kenya

The United States of America has expressed interest in resuming trade with the East African nation of Kenya. The resumption of trade between both nations is a welcomed development according to both parties, assuming the interest of both players is protected.  Tension surmounting between these two nations results from the potential tax that could be imposed on their businesses should they commence trade with each other.  The US has...

24 September 2022

US overtakes Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods

The United States has overtaken Uganda to become the largest market for Kenyan goods, according to a report by Business Daily. Citing official data, the publication reported that Kenya’s exports to the US grew by 47 percent to Sh38.8 billion in the first half of the year, ending Uganda’s 10-year dominance as the leading export destination for Kenya-made goods. In the period under review, Ugandan consumers bought Sh36.2 billion worth of...

22 September 2022

Kenya seeks a temporary pact with the US ahead of full FTA

Kenya is currently seeking a placeholder trade partnership with the United States as negotiations for a fully-fledged free trade agreement (FTA) continue between the two countries. Outgoing Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said she expects the new administration under President William Ruto to continue engagements with the US. “What we are currently in discussions over is the development of a strategic trade and investment partnership...

13 September 2022

US seeks public views on new trade deal with Kenya [incl. file]

President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking views from American and Kenyan firms on the proposed fresh free trade window as it lays grounds for a new pact. The call follows fresh trade talks Washington opened with Nairobi in July. The United States Trade Representative Office (USTR), which has been spearheading the talks, said comments received from interested parties will help the USTR as it develops negotiating objectives and...

15 August 2022

AGOA's 'expiry clause has limited Kenya's ability to attract long-term investment', MIT Secretary says

Kenya has struggled to attract long-term, capital-intensive investments under the more than two decades-Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) deal with the US largely because of the pact’s expiry clause, the Trade minister has said. Betty Maina, the Industrialization and Trade secretary, says big-ticket investors have not been keen on setting up factories for duty- and mostly quota-free exports into the expansive US market, limiting the product...

14 August 2022

US doesn't rule out more comprehensive trade negotiations with Kenya

The United States has not ruled out more comprehensive trade negotiations with Kenya after launching a strategic trade and investment partnership with the African country on Thursday, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi told Reuters. Bianchi said U.S. trade officials viewed the agreement with Kenya as a potential model for other countries. Officials would focus in coming months on hammering out high-standard agreements in areas...

15 July 2022

House Ways and Means Chairman Neal applauds launch of US-Kenya partnership agreement negotiations

Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) applauded the launch of the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership, “Today’s announcement that the United States will be furthering our partnership with a key trading partner, Kenya, is a welcome advancement in our trade relationship, and I thank USTR Ambassador Tai for her leadership in launching this initiative. “Kenya is a recognized...

15 July 2022